Choose Wisely

Nov 8, 2016

“Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire.” Yes – How sad that this was the first thing I heard on the radio this morning. Welcome to Election Day. As an observer of human behavior, I found this election season to be quite fascinating and disturbing. However, I will choose to remain optimistic.

When I voted last week, I waited in line for about an hour with quite the talkative lady. Coming from me, that is saying a lot. Of course, our discussion focused on the election. I could tell we were both trying to get a sense of which person each would be choosing. When we got closer to the front of the line I considered asking, but she volunteered the information. After she told me her candidate, I smiled, put my arm around her, and said, well then, lets go in there and cancel out each others vote. After a great deal of laughter, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

That exchange gave me hope. I enjoyed having a civil conversation, discussing differences, and gaining a perspective other than my own. I was reminded that beyond all the hype of the things we hear and read are people making the best decisions they can, given the information at their disposal. People care, and this is a good thing.

Speaking of caring, my oldest son drove home from college last night to vote because he missed the mail-in deadline. After finishing his last class, he drove 6+ hours, got home at 10 pm, was in line when the polls opened this morning, and is now back at school. Yet, another good thing.

As I tell children regularly, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. So, we need to remember the way in which we handle the results will teach our children a great deal. I may be twitching, but whatever the outcome, I hope when tomorrow morning comes we can all find a way to focus on the good and refuse to let negativity win. Choose wisely.

Beyond Poor Choices

I know I’m stating the obvious, but changing behavior can be difficult.  Want to start off on the right foot when faced with this challenge?  A critical first step in dealing with inappropriate behaviors is determining which are the result of poor...

Generalizing to Extremes

As I lay awake last night staring at the ceiling, it was clear to me that my original idea for this week’s post would have to wait.  Given the incident that occurred at yesterday’s presidential rally, I believe there is a bigger issue to address. I’ve been...

The Concerning Colorful Spectrum of Language

Though actions may speak louder than words, we best not underestimate how language modeling shapes the behavior of the children we are collectively raising.  I guess it’s a hazard of my profession, but I regularly see and hear the world through the eyes and ears of...

Teacher Dads

Dads, today I celebrate you as teachers.  In fact, I believe it is one of your most important roles.  Fathers are always teaching, continually by example, and most of the time without even knowing they are doing so.  In this regard, I have seen some masterful work.  I...

Predictable Routines Needed

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” This quote from Mark Twain seems appropriate given the changes occurring in homes as another school year ends. Parents, we’re lucky. Our kids have had nine months of consistency thanks to the hard work of teachers. We...

One Chapter at a Time

Relieved. Happy. Discouraged.  Exhausted. These were some of the adjectives teachers mentioned when asked how they were feeling about the school year ending.  Although the responses varied, all teachers agreed - they were ready to have some closure with their...

Surrogate Teacher Moms

“Do you have any kids?” I once asked a teacher friend. “Absolutely,” she said. “I have a classroom full of them.” I laughed and walked away, but that thought stuck with me. Let’s face it - some of the best mothers in our lives weren’t our mothers, in the biological...

Get Physical

I’ve done a great deal of yard work over the past few weeks and have been reminded of an important behavior strategy. It’s one I don’t talk about nearly enough, given its effectiveness. Of course, with most people’s busy schedule it’s also hard to come by. The...

Look for the Foundation

Did you know that behaviors have a build-up effect over time?  Most teachers do.  And although there is an ebb and flow pattern to the behaviors of students, we see them all at the tail end of the school year – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Fortunately, we have...

Coming Together

So I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Though the original inspiration hit me in the middle of the eclipse last Monday, it was driven home again yesterday.  (Being a spiritual man, I believe sometimes God circles back around and gives me reminders – to make...